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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day

30 Jun 2013

The Mallard ducks are still with us - we expect them to vanish when they moult. We have not seen any ducklings yet and may not - most years they are promptly marched down to the local brook dodging the traffic :-(
Here is a typical flyby - a female with 2 males. Females seem to be able to fly faster than the males as here (female in the middle) - she started behind the males and ended up in front.

Ref: DF1_20130519_1207_438-440 3 Mallard ducks in flight (female between 2 males) 5-7 of 9 (arbitrary montage).jpg

Mallard ducks smothered in Duckweed seems to be the standard view when on the ground at the moment. This male is beginning to lose some of his wonderful colour.

Ref: DF1_20130516_1809_202 Mallard male wet and splattered with Duckweed.jpg

29 Jun 2013

This fun cloud shape only lasted for half a minute or so before the 'trunk' faded away, but a camera makes it permanent (or at least as permanent as anything human might be).

Ref: DF1_20130519_1055_319 Cloud shaped like elephant with raised trunk (crop).jpg

28 Jun 2013

The starlings have about halved feeding intensity so we think that one of two families in the loft space has fledged and left without us seeing a thing. But the feeding continues on the remaining family

Ref: DF1_20130516_0956_092+094+096 Starling flying to hole into loft nest with food 2+4+6 of 6 (accurate montage).jpg

The shadow of the starling when on the pipe-top belongs to the bird when out the original frame. We have only montaged in some of the shadows because they overlapped and would have appeared as an unintelligible mess.
Judging zoom vs. detail is a tricky balance between scope and detail.

Ref: DF1_20130516_1000_138+144-148 Starling flying from pipe top (as shadow) to hole into loft nest with food 01+04-08 of 11 (acc montage + some shadows).jpg

27 Jun 2013

Photogenic Female Pheasant.
(Try saying that 3 times quickly!)

Ref: D45_20130510_1922_082_FB1 Pheasant female facing camera (crop 2).jpg

Life is hazardous for pheasants even without people shooting them. Last week one of our's was killed on the main road, and this week the female pheasant on the left seems to have had an unpleasant encounter. All her tail feathers have gone and there is a lot of other feather damage at the rear. We suspect she just managed to escape the predatory attentions of a fox. We have another photo of her 2 days later feeding and looking perfectly healthy apart from the damage, so are hopeful she will be OK.

Ref: D5C_20130509_1637_008_FB2 Pheasant female with missing tail and other feather damage + pristine female.jpg

26 Jun 2013

This halo round the sun is quite new to us and is said to be only rarely seen. The narrow ring is in rainbow colours with red on the inside, and the cirrus clouds (made of ice crystals that produce the effect) are darker inside the ring than out. The top of the ring was very faint. This is a cropped but otherwise unprocessed image.
(Rainbows appear with the sun BEHIND you)

Ref: P34_20130513_1050_235 Sun with 22 degree halo (unadjusted crop).jpg

25 Jun 2013

This somewhat tatty, but nevertheless welcome, Hobby made a single pass right over the house.

Ref: DF1_20130513_1507_192 Hobby flying overhead 12 of 13 (crop).jpg

24 Jun 2013

We are seeing the occasional swallow flying over or by our patch. This one unexpectedly perched on the wire above us for a few minutes.

Ref: DF1_20130512_0853_126 Swallow on mains wire.jpg

This Dunnock unexpectedly landed only about 2 metres away and sang a little before departing.

Ref: A77_20130512_1039_157 Dunnock in Willow tree.jpg

Some of the Robins are not quite hand tame, but you can get very close where the singing is remarkably loud for such a tiny creature.

Ref: A77_20130507_1833_136 Robin singing from hedge branch 5 of 7 (crop).jpg

23 Jun 2013

The Starlings in the loft space have been feeding the noisy youngsters from dawn until dusk. The parents sometimes stop on the roof ridge with their current offerings. Here is a photogenic load - a large caterpillar - rather than a bundle of squishy worms .

Ref: DF1_20130512_0844_065 Starling on roof holding large caterpillar.jpg

What goes in must come out.
The white thing is a Fecal Sac produced by a chick as a 'hygienic container' that the parent will dump away from the nest. The conservatory roof they fly over is splattered with the remains!

Ref: A77_20130512_1055_173 Starling leaving loft hole with fecal sac 1 of 3 (crop).jpg

Here a starling exits the hole into the loft space, this time without anything to dispose of.

Ref: DF1_20130513_1049_108+109 Starling flying from loft hole 2+3 of 4 (acc montage).jpg

22 Jun 2013

With the females mostly setting on eggs one of the lonely male Mallard ducks taking off from the Duck-shaped pond.
This and the next image are accurately spaced at about 7 fps.

Ref: DF1_20130427_1900_057+058+060+062+064 Mallard male taking off from bank of Duck Pond 01+02+04+06+08 of 18 (acc montage).jpg

Ref: DF1_20130427_1900_068+70+72 Mallard male taking off from bank of Duck Pond 12+14+16 of 18 (acc montage).jpg

21 Jun 2013

These 3 frames appeared sequentially with gaps of 2 and 21 minutes. It is very unusual to see such similar positions on 3 obviously separate approaches.

Ref: D5C_20130502_0112_117+0114_118+0135_119_FB2 Fox visiting almost identically 3 times in 30 minutes 1-3 of 3 (montage).jpg

20 Jun 2013

The recent return of Hares after a 20 year absence allowed us to see them performing their famed 'boxing match' for the first time ever. There were 3 hares here, the other Hare a couple of animal lengths to the right of our crop. The competition may be to push the opponent backwards - each of these 6 images is framed the same against the background and the loser was pushed left. We understand that this is usually females repulsing males but we can't tell the sexes apart in these distant (maybe 250 metres) images.
Images are at about 4 fps with gaps of between 2 and 4 images as indicated.

Ref: A77_20130505_1245_204-218 2 Hares in field to east in a few seconds of boxing 2+5+7+9+12+16 of 17 (montage).jpg

19 Jun 2013

A male chaffinch showing us a spread of feathers and his green back as his flaps up the side of the rock. He is in prime breeding condition without any trace of 'Bumblefoot' we see in about half our chaffinches.

Ref: D45_20130503_1902_067_FB1 Chaffinch male flapping up side of stone.jpg

18 Jun 2013

A female Mallard duck fresh from one of the duckweed covered ponds.

Ref: D5C_20130503_1809_041_FB2 Mallard duck female wet with duckweed looking for food at log.jpg

2 Days later the male with even more duckweed arrived to grab some of the recently deposited corn.

Ref: D5C_20130505_1800_125_FB2 Mallard duck male wet with duckweed feeding at log (pheasant male & Jackdaw cropped out) (crop).jpg

17 Jun 2013

The plethora of gulls (mostly Black-headed) that descended for the harrowing and sowing of the surrounding field have gone, but this great Black-backed Gull made a nice flyby showing both sides of his wings nicely lit.

Ref: DF1_20130504_1526_114 Great Black-backed Gull in flight.jpg

16 Jun 2013

You have probably all seen or had pointed out the 'browse line' in major parks, set by the height that deer can reach up, leaving a sharp horizontal line below which there is no foliage. Here is our version in a field to our north. It has been properly fenced so sheep can stay in it long term without an inner electric fence. As a result they have access to the hedge and chew merrily away producing a browse line about 1 metre high.

Ref: DF1_20130505_1801_002 Sheep Browse line in hawthorn hedge over brook to North (crop).jpg

15 Jun 2013

A male Mallard, starting the lose some of his bright green head feather, flew by giving us a gentle quack.

Ref: DF1_20130509_0721_129-132 Mallard duck male quacking in flight 2-5 of 9 (arb montage).jpg

14 Jun 2013

5 years earlier the new farm owners ripped out a hundred or so fruit trees to turn the land 'arable'. We were offered to take any we wanted and we replanted about 10 of which most 'took' - something of a 'pot luck' of absent or sun-bleached labels from 'old varieties' of apple and pear. These apple blossoms are lovely.

Ref: P10_20130508_1601_497 Apple blossom with fly (crop).jpg

Ref: P10_20130508_1601_509 Apple Blossom.jpg

Ref: P10_20130508_1602_528 Apple Blossom.jpg

13 Jun 2013

We have left a Swann 'OutbackCam' trail camera aimed on the potential badger hole in a pond spoil heap and here is a little selection of the weeks sightings.

  1. We think the badger IS exiting the hole - this is the first of a movement triggered set of 3 and we can't see how it could be the first if it hadn't been exiting the hole.
  2. The female muntjac deer is a welcome appearance.
  3. The baby rabbits are endearing but a hint of damage to come.
  4. And then there is the dominant male pheasant and 2 of his 'wives'.

Ref: SW2_20130504_0612_079-20130509_0609_410 Muntjac deer female + baby rabbits + badger + pheasants on mound (montage).jpg

12 Jun 2013

Our one and only clump of Snakes-head fritillary near a laurel bush is the white variant. The rabbits eat all the more normal purple type but leave these.

Ref: P10_20130502_0733_445 Snakes-head fritillary white variant clump (crop).jpg

Details of a single Snakes Head fritillary flower that grows between the slabs of a set of stepping stones over what used to be a flower bed.

Ref: P10_20130502_0723_415 Snakes-head fritillary white variant flower detail (crop 2).jpg

11 Jun 2013

It's time for the fruit trees to blossom - rather late this year but making up for it in quantity.
This is Victoria Plum blossom.

Ref: A77_20130501_1317_015 Plum Blossom (crop).jpg

It's time for the fruit trees to blossom - rather late this year but making up for it in quantity.
This is Blossom on some sort of cherry - have several varieties.

Ref: A77_20130501_1749_045 Cherry Blossom (crop).jpg

10 Jun 2013

The Black-Poplar trees (all males nowadays because the flowering females emit an offensive smell & didn't get planted) this year produce a fabulous show of Catkins giving the trees a red haze for a couple of days.

Ref: DF1_20130429_0709_111 Black Poplar catkins on several twigs (orig).jpg

Ref: DF1_20130429_0709_114 Black Poplar catkins twig detail (crop).jpg

2 days later the Black Poplar catkins are hanging more open and the vivid red is fading.

Ref: A77_20130501_1303_003 Black Poplar catkins (crop).jpg

09 Jun 2013

We really are not sure where this female blackbird found this soggy mess, but it was probably at an edge of the main pond. It will undoubtedly become some binding material for her nest.

Ref: D36_20130430_1252_042_FB4 Blackbird female carrying wet pond (q) weeds in beak (crop 2).jpg

08 Jun 2013

"How about it then, Toots"
This pair of chaffinches (male on the left) may be just about to mate - the female is crouched down to encourage the male.

Ref: D36_20130428_0556_089_FB4 Chaffinch pair with crouching female facing poised male (crop).jpg

07 Jun 2013

So far only the peacock butterfly has settled on the flowers long enough to capture any images. This one is in a reasonable state considering that it has been hibernating all winter.

Ref: DF1_20130423_1046_084 Peacock butterfly feeding on cherry flower.jpg

The bland blue sky may suggest a 'studio shot' but this lovely peacock butterfly (who will have been in hibernation all winter) was most definitely enjoying the cherry tree blossom out in the 'wild'

Ref: DF1_20130423_1048_096 Peacock butterfly feeding on cherry flower (crop).jpg

06 Jun 2013

The warmest day so far brought out a few insects including some precious pollinators.

Ref: DF1_20130423_1019_024 Bumble Bee on Cherry Flower (crop 2).jpg

The warmest day so far brought out a few insects including some precious pollinators. This Honey bee spent only a few seconds around the cherry flowers before 'vanishing'.

Ref: DF1_20130423_1021_029+030+037 Honey Bee on and flying around Cherry Blossom (accurate montage).jpg

This isn't a bee - it is a Bee-Fly. The half dark wing is characteristic. It was a brief visit & these images 3 montaged together was all we got

Ref: DF1_20130423_1022_051+067+070 Bee-Fly feeding on Cherry Blossom (accurate montage).jpg

05 Jun 2013

A Song Thrush singing - for us it captures the 'Joy of Spring'

Ref: D45_20130425_0710_130_FB1 Song Thrush with beak open looking up (crop).jpg

04 Jun 2013

Can't resist the 3 for 2 offers when out 'shopping' for the nest?
For some reason this Jackdaw sometimes stops on the tree stump with it's next load of nesting material - usually just one twig or dried leaf. Here it looks like the woodland floor has been doing a 'special' on multiple items - a twig + fresh moss + a couple of autumn leaves, all 'to go'

Ref: D36_20130423_0551_020_FB4 Jackdaw with twig + moss + dried leaves in beak.jpg

03 Jun 2013

Our first record of a Siskin, here feeding on the catkins on the one Lombardy poplar along our access track.

Ref: DF1_20130421_0722_092 Siskin female feeding on catkins of Lombardy poplar (first record) (crop).jpg

02 Jun 2013

There are now several lonely male mallard ducks sitting disconsolately or flying about. This is an arbitrary montage of one quacking as it went by.

Ref: DF1_20130420_1751_051-053 Mallard Duck male in flight 05-07 of 10 (arbitrary montage).jpg

01 Jun 2013

Got it!
A Great Tit picks up a corn grain fragment and is about to fly off with it to somewhere it won't get 'mugged' for it.

Ref: D45_20130418_1750_034_FB1 Great Tit holding up corn grain in beak.jpg

A tree sparrow looks like it has found some exotic seed in the bird mix we are using at the moment, and the husk is just dropping out of the beak.

Ref: D45_20130420_1816_110_FB1 Tree Sparrow eating seed.jpg



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